Advice on building a holiday home in the USA

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by jonspencer, Jan 9, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    I do not really understand the property tax law and understand it varies from city to city but hoping to get some advice

    during the downturn in 2008, I purchased a few lots in metro Miami as an investment. I like the area and the weather is perfect for me in December to February.

    all lots are +/- 5000 SF with the general setbacks and limits but painful restrictions regarding the many existing trees.

    so would you build a comfortable 1000 +/- SF house to keep the taxes low or would you build a 2500 SF house with the hope of a bigger rental income for months you would not be using the home?

    I hate to leave the properties empty but I do not want to create a huge tax burden for myself

    it seems many of my construction options and the materials to be used are already determined by the strict Miami-Dade building codes after the big hurricane
     
  2. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    If you are hiring a young blood architectural firm, or better still an architect who has a good residential portfolio, then go for 2500. Or, if you are doing builder driven blended construction then stick to 1000.
     
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  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    You're off to a good start, since you learned that bit! :)
    The other source of potential restrictions on the size, architectural style, etc could come from local zoning laws. You local city hall could be a helpful and free source of such information.
    Your property taxes will eventually be determined by the appraised value of the house and the land -- and size is only one of many factors that determine the value. In fact it's possible to have a huge house with very little value -- if it's ugly, uninhabitable, and in a bad neighborhood. So start with the projected use of the house and architectural restrictions, and your builder / architect will work out the rest.
     
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  4. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    one thing I have learnt thus far is that the Coconut Grove town elders are much more concerned about the well-being of the trees than the people that will actually inhabit the property :eek:
     
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  5. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    You might also want to meet with several Architects that have experience working in the area. From them you will get ideas of how to plan and possibly a list of builders that have worked with the town. This might eliminate any problems coming up.

    You are a better man than I, Gunga Din. I would not dream of building in a developed area like Miami, given that the Politics there are not known for being even handed.
     
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  6. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I strongly urge you to get your advice from a tax professional within the jurisdiction your property is located. Property tax law is complicated and very, very local. Two things to look out for are how the house will be treated without the homestead exemption (that is, as a second home), and whether your property is located in a CDD (Community Development District) which will expose to you to additional, unpredictable costs if the CDD issues any bonds.
     
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  7. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Coconut Grove is an exclusive neighborhood in Miami, with old growth and unique trees being it's major asset and attraction. So you made a good choice! With time you'll appreciate the wisdom of your Town Hall in protecting the community and your assets.
    Of course you could have invested in a neighborhood without such assets (e.g. Overtown), but I wouldn't recommend it for a "holiday home". ;)
     
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  8. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    2500 s.f. increases your maintenance costs and time. You'll need a cleaning service, and whenever you arrive for vacation you'll have to spend good time cleaning.
     
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  9. wharvey

    wharvey Silver Member

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    You also want to make sure you build something that is supported by the value of the surrounding homes... you never want to be the most expensive or lease expensive in the neighborhood.

    Decide on the ultimate purpose... if rental income is the goal; make sure you find out what people are currently getting for similar homes... and take that into account.

    As Gargoyle says, you will find there are many costs that creep into the equation or increase as the square footage increases.
     
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